Vatulele is well off the beaten track and not many yachts head that way (according to the chief). We do know that Jadean and Nautilus were there last year - so its not totally unheard of for yachts to visit.
One of the issues is the lack of reasonable charting. The charts are missing all detail and even the Google Earth image has clouds over the promising windward passage. We opted for the lee passage (just to the right of the small island in the image below). Judging by the water colour, we figured we’d have enough depth to get in - yes, thats how we roll out here!
So with me watching the depth sounder like a hawk and watching the Ovitalmap (with GE images) to make sure we hit that small deep water pass, and Ania on the bow in the rain (!) we snuck our way slowly into the lagoon and around to the NW side of the island. There was once a very exclusive resort here, but it has fallen into disrepair. There are all sorts of stories and reasons given, but the villagers are in dispute with the current owner who has not only parked a flipping ship on the beach, but isn’t fixing the resort and thus there’s no work for the locals.
Someone has dragged the dive compressor out into the open and left it there...
We did our duty, and walked 1 hour across the island on the abandoned path to the village to do our sevusevu. We crossed the runway, which is now totally overgrown with even small trees! The chief was surprised to see us due to not many yachts visiting. We had a nice chat, and left him with the obligatory kava plus some kids clothes, some t-shirts and toys. It was another 1hour back across the island, this time in the rain.